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Barriers;Formal services;Homelessness;Intimate partner violence;Qualitative;Women


Jill Singleton-Jackson



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Women experiencing homelessness and intimate partner violence (IPV) can endure many hardships, including a lack of shelter and necessities, financial issues, unemployment, and physical and mental illnesses (Acosta & Toro, 2000; Hwang, 2001; Ponce et al., 2014). Despite these adversities, many women experiencing homelessness and IPV do not use formal support services due to factors related to finances, inaccessibility, controlling partners, and stigma, among other factors (Campbell et al., 2015; Fugate et al., 2005; Narendorf, 2017). The current literature lacks studies that examine the formal service experiences of women who have undergone both homelessness and IPV the potential barriers they face. Therefore, the current study used a qualitative-dominant design and explored the formal service needs of these women, the barriers and facilitating factors associated with accessing services for needs related to both IPV and homelessness, and how the women’s social positionings affected their experiences with these services. Interviews with 10 participants were conducted, and a reflexive thematic analysis was employed using a critical feminist and intersectionality lens. The most common factor that led to their current living situation was conflict and precarious circumstances leading to housing instability. The most common barriers were system, psychological, dismissal, minimization, and financial barriers. The most common needs for this group of women were health, employment, finances, and the foundations to survive (e.g., home and necessities). The most common facilitating factors were having a support network and signs of resilience, growth, and proactivity. Finally, the social positionings most commonly affecting their experiences were class and race and ethnicity. The findings of this study will be turned into a report for formal support services in Windsor and potentially used to improve services available for this population of women.